The AV Club’s Best Comics of 2016

The 2nd SLF in NYC will be holding a panel discussion about the artistic accomplishments of Sonny Liew‘s graphic novel The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye on Saturday, October 1, 2016, 2 pm, Book Culture Bookstore near Columbia University. Come and talk with four experts: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean author Douglas Wolk, art historian Ying Sze Pek, cartoonist and satirist Colin Goh, and former DC comics editor Matt Humphreys about Sonny’s masterpiece.


The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye


2016 has been a phenomenal year for graphic novels, but few can compare to the genius of The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, Sonny Liew’s biography of Singapore’s greatest cartoonist: the fictional Charlie Chan Hock Chye. Liew has produced consistently compelling work in the past, but this graphic novel is his masterpiece, revealing his mastery of a huge range of rendering techniques and textual and visual storytelling styles. Presented as a multimedia package consisting of sketches, photographs, paintings, newspaper clippings, and many, many comics, this graphic novel is an extremely ambitious undertaking, sending Liew to new heights as he hones all these different elements of his craft. The scope of his artistry is matched by his understanding of personal relationships, specifically those of a cartoonist and the people and publishers that surround him. The overarching narrative is sincere and inspiring but also honest about the realities of this lifestyle, and the detail that goes into Liew’s dissection of his lead makes for a fascinating, complex character study. It’s one of those graphic novels that takes full advantage of the myriad creative opportunities afforded by the medium, melding various styles and techniques and media to create an immersive history of one man and his country. [Oliver Sava]